Lebanon and Turkey profit from boycott

Turkey profits from boycott

Lebanon has started exporting to Russia. The country wants to tap into new markets, now that export destinations in the Middle East are buying less. Turkey saw its export to Russia increase significantly over the first nine months of this year. Nevertheless, Standard&Poor's expects prices in Russia to go up over the winter months. In Crimea, fruit and vegetables are already a lot more expensive. The annexed region gets less supply from Ukraine, has a bad harvest and more demand from Russia, causing prices to go up. In Moldova, prices of most crops are decreasing. French farmers took to the streets to protest against plummeting prices.



Standard&Poor's expects sharp price increases
Rating agency Standard&Poor's expects food prices in Russia to increase sharply in the coming months. Particularly during the winter months, when the country can only partially compensate the imports from the boycotted countries. The agency writes that the loss of import is causing a shock on the food market, which cannot be absorbed by domestic production and import from other countries.

Russia expects higher apple prices
The Russian Ministry of Agriculture expects apple prices to increase by 1.5-2 roubles (0.03-0.04 Euro) before Christmas. According to the government, the increase is seasonal, and not caused by the boycott. The top fruit volume is expected to go up by 10-15% this year. The import share, from 50 countries according to the Russians, is 50%.

Prices in Crimea increase
In Crimea, prices of almost all vegetables are increasing, APK-Inform data show. Cabbage and tubers in particular got a lot more expensive. In one week, the cabbage price went up by 15-20%, caused by a decreasing supply of cabbage from the Ukraine mainland. Beetroot prices increased by a third in one week, to 12-15 cents per kilo. Due to the increasing prices, demand from wholesalers in Crimea is increasing, as they are stocking up for winter. However, the beetroot harvest was disappointing this year, due to bad irrigation. Carrots yield 13-18 cents per kilo, which is 15% more than a week before. Carrot prices are going up due to decreased supply from Ukraine, and growing demand from Russia. Only onions and potatoes are escaping this trend. Growers in Crimea see prices for these products are not going up, because of supposed smuggling from the mainland.

Prices Moldova going down
In the period January-September of this year, food prices in Moldova decreased by 3.7% on average. The biggest decrease was noted for corn (-34.7%), followed by fruit, with a 27.4% decrease. Grape prices went down by 13.5%. Other products increased in price; potatoes got 24.4% more expensive, and vegetables became 8.5% more expensive.

No Lithuanian vegetables for food bank
Lithuanian growers are not lining up to supply free produce to organizations. Some of the growers hope to be able to sell the products later this year, and are filling up their warehouses. In addition, the growers are not satisfied with the compensation offered, since not 100% of the costs is being compensated. The food banks' storage capacity is also insufficient. The organizations are able to distribute 100 tonnes of vegetables each week. The total volume of vegetables grown is 300,000 tonnes, and 550,000 tonnes of potatoes. Of that amount, 53,000 tonnes of vegetables were exported to Russia.

Turkey profits from boycott
According to Turkish exporters' statistics, the country has increased export to Russia by 30% between January and September, to 413,600 tonnes. In dollars, that amounts to 292 million, 9% more than a year before. All in all, around 53% of the export volume went to Russia.
Over the same period, export of vegetables amounts to 916,300 tonnes, 1% more than during these months in 2013. The total revenue went up by 5%, to 554 million dollars. The most important export products are tomatoes, with a volume of 493,800 tonnes and a value of 358 million dollars. That's 28% more, volume-wise, than in January-September 2013. Other big export products were bell peppers, onions and cucumbers. The most important markets: Russia, Bulgaria, Germany, Ukraine and Romania.

Moscow wants to increase production
In 2017, growers in the Moscow region will have to cultivate more than 1.1 million tonnes of grain and vegetables. The potato harvest is to be increased by 375,000 tonnes, the vegetable volume by 370,000 tonnes, and grain will have to yield 378,000 tonnes. Earlier, the regional government already announced that this year's harvest will be higher than in previous years. The potato harvest amounted to 870,700 tonnes, 126% of last year's yield, and 615,600 tonnes of vegetables, 18% more than a year before.

Lebanon starts export
Export to Russia from Lebanon has started about a month and a half ago, the Lebanese Chamber of Commerce reports. The organization emphasizes the importance of new markets, now that export to Iraq, Egypt and Libya has been lost. Lebanon also wants to hold on to the current markets, with the Gulf states being a particularly important market. These countries buy around 40 percent of the produce. Later this month, a delegation will travel to Moscow. Lebanon is mainly looking to export apples, potatoes and grapes, and sees a lot of opportunities there. Russia reportedly has a 500 million dollar import budget. The country mainly expects to sign contracts with smaller retailers, because the volumes are too small for large retail chains.

China cannot replace Europe in Russia
According to the Russian consumers association, China is unable to compensate the loss of European import. The country has logistical issues, and there are doubts on food safety. The logistical lines between China and Russia are insufficient, with the Trans-Siberian Railway unable to transport large volumes. According to the consumer organization, China is only able to take over the market in Eastern Russia. The laboratories that carry out inspections are mainly focused on European norms. Pesticides used in China differ from the European ones, according to the organization, laboratories would be insufficiently equipped to detect these substances. 

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